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Fontana began to make holes (or buchi) through his canvases in 1949-50. At its simplest, this can be seen as marking the movement of the artist’s hand, like the brushwork in Abstract Expressionist painting. However, the puncturing ensured that Fontana literally cut between the space occupied by the viewer, through the surface of the canvas, to the space that lies beyond. Fontana saw this as evocative of infinity, claiming ‘I have created an infinite dimension’.

March 2005